To get through the hustle and bustle of the cities like Kathmandu, a private vehicle has become essential, and, with that, a valid driving license becomes essential too.
According to historical records, Nepal issued its first driving license in 1921 to Gopal Khopase while the first woman to get the license was Machhari Chitrakar in 1952. During those times, the traffic police would issue the licenses; the job has been taken over by the Department of Transport Management since its establishment in 1984. Since 2015, the department has started distributing digital smart licenses, eliminating the system of traditional paper license. The new license has electronic chips that contain information about the driver’s identity.
Getting a driving license in Nepal has become more systematic than before. The government of Nepal distributes driving licenses in all 14 zones of Nepal. There are many categories of driving license, from A to K with subtypes, but the most useful for personal use are categories ‘A’ (for both motorcycles and scooters), ‘B’ (light four-wheelers), and ‘K’ (scooters). You can also apply for both Category A and B.
In Nepal, once a driving licence is issued, it is valid for five years.
Here, we have for you a step-by-step guide for applying for and getting a driving license.
The first step in getting a driving license in Nepal is approaching your nearest transport management offices. You can do this via online or in-person:
The DoTM launched an online driving license registration system from December 25, 2016. There is a link to the registration system on the DoTM website. You will be directed to a webpage with a form, in which you will have to fill all the blank fields with correct details.
Once you do so, you will be redirected to and land on a verification page along with the date you have to reach the DoTM for further processing. You have to print that verification page and take it with you when you visit the DoTM office.
In the DoTM office, just outside the premises, you will get two forms. One is a driving licence form and the other is a medical test form, both available for Rs 25. You will have to fill both the forms including all the basic details and submit them for further processing.
2. Form submission
Even though you fill the form online, you have to go to the transport management office to submit it. The office staff also take a digital photo of you and collect your signature. With the form, you also need to submit a copy of your citizenship certificate, and a stamp worth Rs 10. You also need to submit your biometric details. You will then be tested for colour blindness and blood category. Everything should be done between 10:30 am and 1:30 pm of the working days.
You have to submit Rs 500 for a written examination, after which you will be given a receipt and an admit card.
3. Written test
The next day after you finish your registration, you have to sit for a written examination. You have to reach there with your original citizenship certificate, your admit card, and the receipt.
The written examination generally is half an hour long. You are asked 20 multiple-choice questions; getting at least 10 right answers qualifies you for the practical examination (trial). The questions are about transport laws, traffic rules, and the mechanics of driving. The instructor explains all details about the examination as it starts.
The results are announced on the same day after 4 pm. The names and registration numbers of the candidates are stuck on the entrance gates of the concerned offices.
You can also check your results by texting ‘WT<space>Application ID’ to 31003. The results are also available online on the DoTM’s website.
If you pass, before you attend the driving test (trial), you will have to pay Rs 500 for both two-wheelers and four-wheelers. In case of a failure, you can reapply after 90 days of the registration form with the same procedure from the beginning.
4. Driving test (trial)
Once you pass the written exam, the office schedules a driving test for you. Such tests are generally scheduled for every day, but the concerned office fixes a time for you.
You have to reach the exam center with your original citizenship card, and the receipt of payment for the trial. You can either take your private vehicle for the test or get rented vehicles, outside the compound.
If you pass the examination, your admit card will be forwarded for the driving licence.
If you fail, you can take a retest after 30 days. However, if you fail the third time, you will have to reapply and go through the process from the beginning, with appropriate fines and fees.
5. Getting the card
You have to receive an admit card within 35 days of the trial examination from the concerned transport management office. Otherwise, you will have to reapply from the beginning.
Once you receive the admit card, you should go to the concerned office with your original citizenship card, admit card, a photocopy of it, and, recent passport and auto-size photographs. Then, you need to pay Rs 1,500 for category-A and category-K licences and Rs 4,000 for category B as well as for both category A-and-B licences.
You will be notified when you can collect your license. Temporarily, you get a slip to qualify you for driving until your smart driving license card gets ready. You can drive with the slip, but you have to keep the slip safe for you to collect your when it gets ready.